Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apple Announces iPad - The Much Rumored Apple Tablet

Unless you haven't been paying attention, the tech world has been awash in rumors the last month or so about what Apple would be announcing on January 27th. Well today was the big day and for once us pundits got it right. The gang in Cupertino announced a tablet type device called the iPad.

Now when a lot of us think of "tablet" I think we default to Microsoft's Tablet PC. That's basically a fully functional PC with a stylus and a virtual keyboard for input. The iPad is more like a turbo charged iPod Touch, and that's not a bad thing by any means.

The device is 1/2 inch thick and has a 9.7 inch display with a resolution of 1024x768. If you've ever seen any of Apple's displays, you know how beautiful this one is. It's light, weighing just 1.5 pounds. It will be available in 16, 32, and 64Gb models.

It has Wifi and also with some models you can have a connection to the AT&T 3G network. It allows you to surf, buy and listen to music, and can run any app that is currently available in the App store. Of course, applications are already being developed for the new processor and larger screen size. Apple has also developed a version of iWork for the device allowing you to do word processing and even develop and give presentations using Keynote.

One of the new things that Apple has brought out with this device is iBooks. The iPad is also an ebook reader and there is now a bookstore available in iTunes.

My overall impressions are favorable. While it's not a world changer, it's definitely something that occupies a needed space between tiny phone and large/heavy laptop. You flat out know that an Apple product is going to be beautiful and will function brilliantly. I can envision using this around my house & office where I have plenty of Wifi and don't want to lug the MacBook Pro around with me.

However, the whole AT&T thing is a mistake in my opinion. I don't need another wireless connection to pay for. If you could use other carriers and I could piggyback this onto my Sprint bill, then maybe, but I don't have that option. Also, people keep touting that it is $499. That is the price for the smallest memory option with no case, dock, etc. I'd want the 64Gb and with all the things I'd add to it, you're talking closer to $1000 than $500. That's a tremendous difference.

Will it sell? Of course it will. Apple has a built in fan base that guarantees any of their products will be a success. Will it get main stream buy in? I think so. It's a nice first effort. It does what it promises to do. Will it be a game changer? So far I'm on the fence. Will I get one? I'm thinking yes.

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